The Great El Valle Challenge Is On
Nov. 20, 2008
Panama City, Panama
- How Far To El Valle? We're Going To Find Out...
- "We're Tired Of The Hoopla"...And We're Ready To Make The
- "We Loved Ecuador So Much We Bought An Apartment In Two Weeks
And Have Just Returned With Our Five Suitcases Of Belongings"...
- The Good Life On The Beach, Sunny, Warm, Affordable, And
How Are You Going to Be Able to Afford to Retire?
Seeking and building a new life abroad is not only the most
sensible way to approach retirement in the current global market
It's not only the best (maybe the only) way to
assure yourself that your retirement funds will carry you all the way
through retirement...comfortably and even in style...
It's not only the best way to make sure you're able to sleep at
night...that you're not kept awake at 3 a.m. by money and budget
It's also the start of the greatest adventure of
your life. The most fun you'll ever have.
The New Retirement Revolution
Overseas Opportunity Letter Reader,
"Please, Kathleen, you
are doing a disservice to your readers. I humbly challenge you to get
from any point in Panama City to El Valle in 1.5 hours. It
cannot be done..." writes a reader in response to the letter to the
published earlier this week from Bob S. in Panama. Bob S. himself
replied, as well, a bit less "humbly"...
So we've been
conducting an informal poll, asking friends and people we speak with
here in Panama City, with no set-up and no comment to color their
"How long does it take to get from Panama City to El
One friend replied, "It's about an hour to the turnoff,
then 30, maybe 35 minutes up the mountain..."
"El Valle? I have a house there...I drive out every weekend. It's an
hour-and-a-half...I'd say a leisurely hour-and-a-half. Why do you
We ask because we don't want to mislead or misrepresent.
I've been to El Valle; it took me an hour-and-a-half to get there.
Lief has been there, separately. Took him an hour-and-a-half. We can't
find anyone whose experience has been otherwise...other than the two
readers who've written in.
So, dear readers, we accept your
humble challenge, in the spirit it was intended. We're making plans
for a weekend in El Valle. We'll set the stopwatch as we pull out of
Panama City, and we'll report back on the duration of the drive.
It gives us a good excuse to re-visit one of our favorite spots in
Meantime, you can read more from dear reader Bob
S., whose position on El Valle is less enthusiastic than our own, on
message board of our website. Bob doesn't like El Valle...or
doesn't like us liking El Valle...we're not sure...but take a look for
his take on things.
P.S. Our local
scouts are pulling together further research into the cost of owning
and of renting in El Valle. If you're a subscriber to the
Overseas Retirement Letter, watch your e-mailbox for this
follow-up report, as well as Contributing Editor Lucy Culpepper's
replies to a fellow subscriber's questions concerning the day-to-day
details of life in this mountain town. If you're not already a
become one here now.
Live Tax-free In Belize
Run Away To A
Beautiful English-speaking Island In The Caribbean...And
Also from our message board:
"Hello. My name is Barbara. I'm
55. My husband is 65, and we have thought about visiting Ecuador
to see if we would like to live there. We would be on a fixed income.
We are tired of the hoopla here.
"We love to read, go walking,
perhaps a movie, dinner, and the quiet country life with spring-like
weather. We don't need the city with crowds and nightlife. Where would
you suggest we start looking?"
A fellow reader replies:
"Barbara, my partner and I moved here to Cuenca, Ecuador, a couple of
months ago, after spending two months here earlier this year and
falling in love with the town.
"We moved here from Australia,
where we had lived most of our lives. Being 52 and 57 and our four
children now young adults (none married, no grandchildren yet), we
decided it was time to go and explore Ecuador.
"We loved it so
much we bought an apartment within two weeks and have now just
returned to live here with our five suitcases of belongings.
"We rented an apartment here for seven weeks while traveling around
the country and really got to know the place.
is overlooking the Tomebamba River, and we live a great life for
little money. The weather is absolutely beautiful at the moment, the
local people we have become friends with are wonderful and can speak
English, and there is a great expat group that meets every Friday
"I could go on and on, but if you want to know more you
can check us out at our
FROM THE MAILBAG:
"If you were an American who wanted to retire close to the
United States but could only afford to purchase a home up to
perhaps US$150,000 and wanted to live on the beach with year-round
warm temperatures, where would be your choice?"
J., United States
Panama and Mexico are the
two most accessible choices for Americans. You can buy a home at
Coronado, for example and other spots along Panama's coast, within
easy driving distance of Panama City, for US$150,000. Same goes for
Mexico outside the really developed areas.
Republic could be an option, but it's not as easy to get to,
except from the East Coast.
Belize, too, could work for
you, though, again, it's not as accessible as Mexico and Panama.